Editor's note: Patch would like to welcome our newest feature writer, Precious White, a local Paulding resident and former educator in the Paulding County School System. She recently opened a travel agency full-time and will be sharing tips and ideas with Patch on a weekly basis.
Holiday Travel Tips
In the coming months, thousands of families will take to the road and skies for the holidays. While most are hoping their travels won't cost them a small fortune, some are simply hoping their trip doesn't cost them their sanity. Here are some tips to help you save money and brain cells on your next vacation.
Road Tripping Rules
Make a Checklist - Trying to remember everything to pack for trips can be gruesome. Sit down and make a list of necessities and last minute grabs before starting the packing process. You'll thank yourself later.
Pack New Toys - Always have a bag on hand with new toys or even old toys the kids haven't used in a while to offer distractions. But don't forget your toys! Packing your favorite book or electronic can help you zone out and tends to make the trip seem shorter.
Give Yourself Extra Time - Make pit stops every so often. Let everyone stretch their legs and walk around to take in a new scenery. Whether making a quick stop at a highway Rest Stop or taking a little extra time to sit down and eat inside a restaurant, allowing extra time for stops can put the entire family in a better mood for the long haul.
Roll Down the Windows - There's something about being in a car for long periods of time that builds frustration. Fresh air is invigorating and gives a feeling of freedom. Calm everyone's nerves by taking in the breeze.
Turn Up the Music - Most families loves to listen to music. Alternate each family member's favorite songs or music stations and put everyone in a good mood for hitting the road.
Timing Counts - The day of the week you purchase your flight could mean the difference between hundreds of dollars. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are known for having the best airline deals. But make sure you're booking far enough in advance. You don't want to overpay by waiting to find a last minute deal that never happens or, worse, get left behind!
Be Flexible - The peak days for travel tend to be the day before a holiday. That's also when you'll pay the most and the airports are at their craziest. If possible, book your flights in the early morning of the actual holiday and possibly save hundreds of dollars and brain cells.
Memberships Matter - Always double check the memberships to which you belong for discounts on flights or hotels. They can provide the monetary relief you need, especially during the holidays.
Leave Early - During peak travel times, much of the trouble you'll face will be before you even board the plane. From security check-in and traffic jams to full parking lots and lengthy shuttle, leaving for the airport early helps you anticipate all the possible delays you may encounter.
Take the Carry-On Challenge - Many airlines are charging $25, $35, $45 or more for you to check your bags. In addition, you lose valuable time and patience checking and claiming baggage. Roll your clothes up tight to maximize space, use travel-size toiletry containers and only take what's absolutely essential for your trip and you're well on your way to traveling cheaper, faster and easier.
The writer's background:
Precious White was born and raised in Marietta, received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at The University of Virginia and a Master of Arts in Counseling at The Ohio State University. She returned to Georgia in 2001 and have been living and working in Paulding for the past 12 years. She is a former educator in the Paulding County School System and recently opened a travel agency full-time. She has a passion for helping others make lasting memories on unforgettable vacations.
"I believe my counseling skills help me effectively listen to customers' vacation preferences and needs. I specialize in cruises, Disney and all-inclusive resorts and destination weddings and honeymoons," White said. "I love enhancing and adding to the overall experience of vacations. My services free up customers' time, relieve stress and provide the best value for their hard-earned vacation dollars. I love anything travel and try to travel with my husband and two kids as often as possible. So naturally, writing travel related content is right up my alley!"
For more information about ForpTravel visit www.forptravel.com.